About the Program

Our Story
Brandon's Libraries for Little Ones is a labor of love that unfolded from the adoption experience of the Sonnenbergs, a family from northern Idaho.  Read more »

Why Library Care Packages?
When the Sonnenbergs adopted Brandon, they learned that the only book he had ever owned his entire childhood was a Bible that a stranger had given him when he was homeless before he entered foster care.  Brandon still has that Bible to this day and treasures it deeply.  This inspired the Sonnenbergs to start a program that would provide foster children with individual library care packages that they could keep forever, regardless of location, placement or circumstance.  Alarming statistics underscore the need to establish literacy, academic excellence and the love of learning in foster children.  Here are just a few, provided by the Child Protective Services Texas State Office:
  • 26% of children in foster care receive special education services compared to 9% of the children in the general student population.
  • 33% of youth in foster care drop out of high school compared to 10% of youth in the general population.
  • Youth in foster care are more likely to read at least two grade levels behind their peer group, more likely to repeat at least one grade, and more likely to face disciplinary issues in the school environment.
Our Current Programs
We presently have two library programs in operation: Brandon’s Backpacks and Brandon’s Libraries of Love.

Brandon’s Backpacks is a program that provides library care packages to foster children and the families that care for them.  Each individual library care package comes complete with a collection of age-appropriate books and a variety of accessories such as bookmarks, stickers, button pins and other fun stationery products, all tucked inside a book bag or tote for safekeeping.  Every package also includes a packet of literacy support materials for the child’s caregivers, to help them establish an environment of family literacy and the love of learning. We provide library care packages to children who range in age from newborn to nineteen.  All of our packages are distributed through partner organizations that work directly with the children and their caregivers.

Brandon’s Libraries of Love is a program that helps our partnering foster agencies establish a library for their organization.  Depending on the specific needs of the agency and the parameters of the foster population it serves, the library may consist of a combination of the following:
  • Reference and educational texts for agency volunteers and employees
  • Reference and educational books for the foster youth to borrow for personal growth and the completion of assigned homework
  • Leisure reading materials for the foster children to borrow
  • Books and reading accessories to be given away to foster children as gifts, incentives or rewards for finishing assignments or completing tasks.
Some of our partnering foster agencies include: Locations
Brandon’s Backpacks and Brandon’s Libraries of Love are currently operating in the following states:
  • Idaho- The Palouse and surrounding areas
    • Boundary County
    • Bonner County
    • Kootenai County
    • Shoshone County
    • Benewah County
    • Latah County
    • Clearwater County
    • Nez Perce County
    • Lewis County
    • Idaho County
  • Texas- The Northeastern Gulf Coast region
    • Harris County
    • Montgomery County
Contact Us
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us today.

Learn More
To learn more about our story, our generous community sponsors, how you can help, or what is included in each individual library gift package, please explore ABOUT US and the links at the bottom of the page COMMUNITY SPONSORS and RESOURCES.

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